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Dear Maccas, Burger King and Wendys, about those zero hour contracts

Written By: - Date published: 4:56 pm, April 10th, 2015 - 11 comments

Following its success in persuading Restaurant Brands to do away with zero hour contracts Unite Union has set up a webpage where people can email these organisations.

The “Brighter future”.

Written By: - Date published: 10:36 am, March 21st, 2015 - 34 comments

Labour, in 1984, with Richard Prebble and Roger Douglas, promised that if we adopted their prescription we would have a “Brighter Future”. Ruth Richardson in the 90’s promised a “Brighter Future”. Again in 2014 John Key’s National promises a “Brighter Future”.

A “Brighter Future”. For whom?

 

‘Ditch the [misleading] rhetoric’

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, December 12th, 2014 - 16 comments

On RNZ this morning PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff criticised Bill English for his misleading rhetoric about rises in “average wages”.  NZ’s income and wealth gaps have increased in recent decades.  The lowest income remain low; the top earners get big salary increases.

This is not business as usual. This is not some hippy over-reaction. This is serious shit!

Written By: - Date published: 4:18 pm, December 11th, 2014 - 55 comments

New author Mandy Hager joins us with some reflections on having become a grandmother: “So that’s why I’m speaking out now, every opportunity I get. Not because I like the exposure (shudder), but because I love this tiny little person and I will fight for his future, come what may. It’s the right thing to do. …”

Hiding the government’s failure on poverty

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, October 17th, 2014 - 81 comments

Thanks to Radio New Zealand, we now know that National got no real plan to address poverty, but also that they really, really don’t want to be honest about it.

Boots Theory: Numbers are meaningless when families are living in cars

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, October 5th, 2014 - 137 comments

There’s something obscene about the way the economic story gets framed: the figures on a page, the points on an index, the number of dollars someone can swap for a number of different-coloured dollars, when people are suffering.

The hairdressers of Levin and Foxton

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, September 13th, 2014 - 44 comments

John Key reckons increasing the minimum wage would hurt “the hairdressers in Levin or Foxton”. So Rob McCann, Labour’s candidate for Ōtaki, asked one how she felt about that.

Parker nails English on economic policy

Written By: - Date published: 2:25 pm, August 25th, 2014 - 32 comments

Labour has the bold set of policies to take New Zealand forward into the 21st century – National’s “same old same old” tinkering will see the Kiwi skiff swamped. That was the clear conclusion from the debate between David Parker and Bill English on National Radio this morning.

Polity: Minimum wage rises do not cause unemployment

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, July 16th, 2014 - 48 comments

In the cartoon world of Economics 101, there is perfect supply, perfect competition, perfect demand, perfect information and prices for labour (and everything else) are set at their true market values. The real world is somewhat different.

Occasionally Erudite: Please, Labour, stop trying to link everything to the housing crisis

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 am, May 21st, 2014 - 99 comments

Jono at Occasionally Erudite has this advice to offer the strategy team at Labour. Make sure pushing of theme(s) this election doesn’t get snagged into the irrelevant that doesn’t have much to do with it. For instance “…are people currently earning minimum wage really likely to be even close to getting into the Auckland, Christchurch or Wellington housing markets?”

Trickleup

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, January 26th, 2014 - 207 comments

There has been an abundance of research showing that communities and societies function better when their resources are shared around.  But the need to persuade ordinary people that this is so is the most important thing to achieve.  Because without popular support attempts to change the current system are bound to fail.

UBI

Written By: - Date published: 8:47 pm, January 7th, 2014 - 361 comments

New Zealand was once considered one of the best places on earth to live. It could be again …

A Tale of Two Cities

Written By: - Date published: 10:03 pm, December 19th, 2013 - 91 comments

It was the best of times in Wellington today. Council workers will get a living wage, and parking wardens will become council employees so they will get decent pay also. It was the worst of times in Auckland as the right-wing Scrooges having failed to remove Mayor Len Brown took it out on their workers by overturning his call for a living wage for Council staff.

Cunliffe stands strong for fair pay and your work rights

Written By: - Date published: 6:29 am, October 10th, 2013 - 139 comments

David Cunliffe showed that he wasn’t just pandering for votes in the leadership race by reaffirming and strengthening his commitment to work rights at the CTU conference yesterday. When David is PM the minimum wage will rise to $15 an hour, the public service will set an example by paying the living wage, and the Nats’ attacks on rights will be reversed – no more Fire at Will, no more youth rates.

“Predistribution”: From Miliband to Cunliffe

Written By: - Date published: 10:11 am, September 23rd, 2013 - 41 comments

Ed Miliband got the idea of pre-distribution from Jacob Hacker. Cunliffe has followed.  Can “pre-distribution” underpin a new direction for the left in NZ: one relevant to the challenges of the 21st century, especially in countering the too wide inequality gap & re-instating social democracy?

UBI. (Universal Basic Income).

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, September 5th, 2013 - 232 comments

The concept of UBI has a long history in New Zealand.

Of course, we already have a UBI for those over 65.  Which has been extremely successful at eliminating poverty amongst the elderly, at a very moderate cost by international standards.

A conservative view on low wages.

Written By: - Date published: 11:33 am, July 25th, 2013 - 37 comments

It is a national evil that any class of Her Majesty’s subjects should receive less than a living wage in return for their utmost exertions… where you have what we call sweated trades, you have no organisation, no parity of bargaining, the good employer is undercut by the bad and the bad by the worst; …

Fairness at work and a living wage

Written By: - Date published: 11:57 am, July 21st, 2013 - 8 comments

fairness-at-work-thumb-3The Government has been warned that the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is likely to breach ILO conventions.  Bridges has responded by saying that the breaches “may not be significant”.  Why is it that the Government gets all hard core when dealing with beneficiaries legal obligations but is so casual when it deals with its own obligations?

Why Doug Heffernan wants you to keep paying too much for power

Written By: - Date published: 7:32 am, April 29th, 2013 - 52 comments

John Key has committed to giving up the National Party’s leadership if he loses the next election. That didn’t stop him from committing the next National Government from reversing NZ Power and putting up electricity prices whenever it comes to power . It got me thinking about the people who are so keen to kill NZ Power in its cradle and why. Today: MRP CEO Doug Heffernan.

Massive changes to employment legislation announced today

Written By: - Date published: 12:15 pm, April 26th, 2013 - 139 comments

The changes announced today to employment law represent the most serious attack on the rights of working people to a fair go since 1991. As I wrote on this blog that the Bill will reduce the Employment Relations Act to a farce and the result will be wages are driven down and employment agreements broken […]

Towards a more inequal New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, February 27th, 2013 - 30 comments

The average CEO got a 10% pay rise last year. The average worker got 2.6%. Minimum wage workers will get 1.9% – a 25 cent an hour token gesture. And 30,000 fewer of us have jobs than a year ago and are not earning at all any more. And now we learn the finance sector sucked $440m more out of us last year – a total of $4 billion. No wonder the planes to Aussie are full.

The conservative’s nightmare

Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, August 31st, 2012 - 51 comments

Soon, a 18-year old gay man will be able to get married and, then, celebrate by having a drink. If Jacinda Ardern’s Bill passes, he’ll be able to adopt his husband’s child. And, if David Clark’s Bill passes – he can then earn $15 an hour at his minimum wage job! It really is the conservative’s nightmare at the moment. I’m loving it.

Marriage Equality and other bills

Written By: - Date published: 9:55 pm, August 29th, 2012 - 51 comments

It’s Members Night in Parliament and the Marriage Equality Bill has passed its first reading. Future Asset Sales have not been entrenched however and National are currently arguing against raising the minimum wage.

10 Jacks are as good as their master

Written By: - Date published: 6:43 am, August 21st, 2012 - 128 comments

Compare the latest figures on CEO pay to the median income of New Zealanders and to the minimum wage. The average CEO gets 10 times the pay of a full-time minimum wage worker or the income of the typical Kiwi. The gap is growing. The CEO pay increase was 26 times the median income increase, 56 times what a full-time minimum wage earner got. Does anyone think this is a recipe for a happy and successful New Zealand?

Hands on Labour

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 pm, August 16th, 2012 - 32 comments

Fresh ideas to grow a stronger manufacturing sector, on top of the major changes Labour has already signalled featured in a speech given today by David Parker to a union audience in Wellington. David Cunliffe was there too,  and I particularly liked the  discussion afterwards. The key players are receptive to good ideas and it looks like Labour will have a real alternative to offer at the next election.

A good week for the opposition

Written By: - Date published: 10:20 am, July 27th, 2012 - 52 comments

3 opposition private members’ Bills passed – extended paid parental leave, Mondayisation, and lobbying disclosure – on Wednesday (moving a ban on land sales to foreigners up the list). Then, all 5 drawn from the ballot on Thursday opposition bills too: marriage equality, $15hr minimum wage, super-majority/referendum protection for asset sales, charging government agencies that pay access to info, and controlling water pollution.

Law firm sets out business wish list

Written By: - Date published: 7:09 am, December 1st, 2011 - 97 comments

Law firm Chapman Tripp has taken it upon itself to summarise the business community’s expectations for National’s second term.  Back to youth rates, and that’s just for starters.

Treasury on the minimum wage

Written By: - Date published: 9:16 am, November 11th, 2011 - 35 comments

Labour want to raise the minimum wage to $15.  The Nats say that will cost jobs (they want to lower the minimum wage instead). Documents obtained by 3 News show that Treasury think the Nats are wrong.  A vote for increasing the minimum wage will not cost jobs.

Whose side are you on?

Written By: - Date published: 2:30 pm, October 6th, 2011 - 212 comments

The PM gets paid $400,000 a year. That’s $45 an hour whether he’s in Hawai’i, talking about his cat, or sleeping. His cleaner, Sosefina Masoe, gets $13.50 an hour. Key has rejected calls to lift the minimum wage for workers like her to $15 an hour. Instead, the Right’s attack dogs have been trained on Mascoe for daring to speak out.

Angry Old White Man Party to attack young people

Written By: - Date published: 12:19 pm, August 25th, 2011 - 42 comments

Angry Old White Man Party (ACT) Leader Don Brash is to launch another attack on young people. It’s strange that this once significant and principled party has sent its dying days picking the on the young. The latest stupid idea is to remove the minimum wage for under 20s altogether and cut spending to cut taxes that the rich pay.

Nats refuse to face their record on youth

Written By: - Date published: 6:46 am, August 17th, 2011 - 46 comments

Having decided to beat up on a few thousand of the most hard done by young people in the country, National is now refusing to acknowledge the problem of disconnected youth that has ballooned under their watch. There are enough young people who aren’t in education, training, or work to fill Eden Park, and Key is literally running from the issue.

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